Ruling the seas

Neptune Lines (NL) was first founded in 1975 by Nicolas Travlos as a cargo and ship handling services company soon expanding its services to operate across the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Today the business is a leading independent short sea operator, having developed a strong reputation for its ability to offer tailor-made solutions and adapt to market trends.

With a current fleet of 16 pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels, NL carries close to one million units annually between 30 key ports strategically placed in 20 countries in its core markets. Operating one of the youngest fleets in the region, NL’s reputation with some of the world’s largest car manufacturers is almost unrivalled. Providing its services to customers such as Renault, VW Group and Ford, the business has demonstrated an impeccable safety record over the years, achieving a near zero per cent damage ratio, and having one of the lowest claim levels in the entire industry.

When Shipping & Marine last featured NL back in July 2015, owner of Neptune Lines, Melina Travlos was pleased to report the recent growth of the company’s fleet following delivery of two new build vessels, Neptune Galene and Neptune Thalassa, from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in South Korea. These were soon accompanied by the acquisition of two additional, previously chartered, vessels – Neptune Hellas and Neptune Horizon.

Speaking at the time, Melina commented on the state-of-the-art energy efficiency of the two new build vessels. “Some of the improvements we made included hull optimisation to operation conditions, use of an electronic and de-rated engine and use of the Promas system by Rolls Royce to improve the efficiency of the propulsion system,” she said. “Through these enhancements we have been able to improve fuel consumption of the vessels by 15 per cent on an annual basis, compared to previous, similar-sized vessels, as well as having reduced our environmental footprint.”

Under NL’s wider ‘Greener Shipping’ vision, yearly plans and constant monitoring are implemented to drive significant improvements into NL’s operations, and recent figures suggest that these efforts are paying off. Since 2010, for instance, the company has seen a 13 per cent reduction in its CO2 emissions and energy usage, something that has been significantly promoted by voyage optimisation and speed reduction, the use of advanced silicon based antifouling products on the hull of the company vessels and re-blading of two company vessel propellers. On top of this, a ‘zero waste disposal at sea’ policy and company-wide recycling efforts, hail NL as an environmental pioneer in its industry.

Moreover, Neptune Lines has also built its reputation on consistency along with flexibility as necessary to suit its customer needs. In an ever-changing market, there is a constant challenge for improvement and for providing a competitive edge, an improved service and the quality required by major multi-national corporations. According to Melina, “our customers do not just ship their products with us. We operate with the philosophy of being an integral part of the total supply chain. We are committed to providing a seamless operation for them; we strive to be part of their own customer service”.

Neptune Lines stands out thanks to its dedicated services and personal attention to customers. “We pride ourselves on developing new markets, but without abandoning our long-established ones. We have been serving lines for more than 20 years and never left our customers without a service, even when that meant more cost to us. Loyalty to our customers is one of our leading values,” says Melina.

Corporate responsibility, diverse corporate culture and sustainability goes hand in hand with Neptune Lines core business. The company is committed to conducting its business in a socially responsible and ethical manner and is the first Greek shipping company to submit a ‘Sustainability Report’ as per GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in Greece. According to Nikos Paterakis, Neptune Lines’ Chief Operating Officer, “in our Company’s values the principles underlying good corporate governance and business ethics are deeply rooted. This year is marked by the formalisation of our commitment to fight corruption and confront anti-competitive behaviour. In addition we have joined the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and all employees have officially endorsed the Company’s Code of Conduct in which these business principles are clearly defined. In addition we embrace diversity in our workforce, women are promoted to senior positions both on shore and off shore.”

NL’s mission is to be the most trusted car carrier company in its operational markets. Investing in and developing its people remain core to realising this vision, as Neptune Lines continues to lead the way not only in the way it approaches the environment, but also its services, its customers and its surrounding communities. With a number of awards under its belt, including the most recent ‘Dry Cargo Company of the Year’ in Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards 2015 it is clear that NL is well on its way to succeeding in this vision.

Neptune Lines

  • Leading car carrying operator
  • Winner of ‘Dry Cargo Company of the Year’ at 2015’s Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards
  • Exemplary focus on environmental responsibility